The Spanish Tragedy

Play

Writers: Thomas Kyd

Overview

Show Information

Book
Category
Play
Number of Acts
4
First Produced
1592
Genres
Tragedy
Settings
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Spain, 1580s
Cast Size
large
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal for
College/University, High School, Large Cast, Mostly Male Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male, Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, late teen, elderly, child, early teen characters

Synopsis

It is the aftermath of a bloody battle between Spain and Portugal. Even though the Spanish were victorious, the ghost of Spanish nobleman Don Andrea returns, accompanied by the personification of Revenge. Before he can be at peace in the afterlife, his death must be avenged. In the war, he was killed by the Portuguese prince Balthazar, who was in turn captured. But Balthazar is receiving a royal welcome at the Spanish court, accompanied by Lorenzo, the brother of Bel-Imperia. At the same time, Bel-Imperia--beloved of Don Andrea--falls in love with Horatio, Don Andrea’s friend and victor of Balthazar. A new battle begins, a battle for the affections of Bel-Imperia, a battle that turns bloody when Balthazar and Lorenzo murder Horatio. His death forges a new path of revenge, pursued by Horatio’s father Hieronimo, who must battle his own doubts and fend off impending madness as he seeks to destroy the men that killed his son. Inventive, inspiring, and complex, The Spanish Tragedy was a new genre for its time--the revenge tragedy--which set the stage for generations of playwrights to come.

Lead Characters